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October 11, 2019

DCs directed to ensure water is not left in open at tyre shops, construction sites


October 11, 2019

Tyre shops and construction sites where water is extensively used serve as breeding places for the mosquitos that cause dengue and such businesses should ensure that water is not left in the open so that such mosquitos do not reproduce.

This was said in a meeting chaired by Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani on Thursday, in which he took several decisions to control dengue and dog bite cases in the city. Sindh Health Secretary Saeed Awan co-chaired the meeting.

According to a statement issued by the Commissioner House, hospitals, deputy commissioners (DCs) and relevant departments were assigned special duties at the meeting to curb dengue. It was decided that various departments and civic agencies, including the health department, dengue control programme, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), District Municipal Corporations (DMCs) and cantonment boards would make coordinated efforts to take preventive measures against dengue and ensure that the patients of dengue received treatment.

The DCs were tasked with forming teams for taking preventive measures against dengue. The commissioner said that an awareness campaign would be launched by the Sindh government against the disease and the KMC and other civic bodies would support the drive.

The statement read that construction sites and tyre shops are the breeding points of the mosquito that causes dengue. To deal with that, the DCs were directed to form teams to ensure that water was not left in the open for a long time at such businesses.

The meeting also discussed the rising number of deaths from rabies as the population of stray dogs could not be controlled. Participants of the meeting advised against poisoning the stray dogs and instead suggested that the animals be vaccinated and gradually eradicated in order to permanently resolve the issue.

Head of Department of Infectious Diseases at The Indus Hospital (TIH) Dr Naseem Salahuddin, and representatives of various major hospitals, including Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Civil Hospital, Abbassi Shaheed Hospital and hospitals being run by the cantonment boards, attended the meeting.

The meeting decided that vaccination of stray dogs would be carried out under a comprehensive plan under the guidance of the TIH Department of Infectious Diseases as per advices of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Dr Salahuddin briefed the meeting on the vaccination plan. She said the plan had already been finalised for the Clifton and Defence areas in coordination with the Cantonment Board Clifton.

She informed the meeting that deaths from rabies were caused by a bite from a rabid animal, usually a dog. To save the lives of the affected persons, they must be treated within 24 to 48 hours after wound wash, followed by proper injections, she said, adding that if the patients were not treated correctly and in a timely manner, rabies would follow within six to eight weeks after which the death was inevitable.

She explained that the worldwide unavailability of anti-rabies vaccine (ARV) and rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) was due to lowered productivity, coupled with an increase in the demand for these products in many countries.

Dr Salahuddin said the WHO, World Organisation for Animal Health and other bodies had effectively demonstrated in many countries that mass dog vaccination (MDV) against rabies would eliminate rabies in dogs, and therefore eliminate human rabies. The MDV, used with animal birth control (ABC) by surgically sterilising male and female dogs will humanely and effectively reduce dog population in the long run, and also make dogs less aggressive, she added.

The Indus Hospital Research Centre had launched the programme, Rabies Free Karachi, with the support from the WHO and KMC, in which over 20,000 dogs were vaccinated in one year and 2,500 sterilised in the Ibrahim Hyderi, Korangi and Landhi areas.

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